He's an intense coach. He's a very detail-oriented person. He's very focused. He's going to push his players to excel. He's going to try to get the best out of his players, one way or another. He's a good coach, very detailed and very enthusiastic and energetic. Fired up to beat Cowher? I don't know. Maybe so. But as soon as the ball's kicked off you can throw all that out the door. It's just a football game. Once you're out there, you can throw any grudges, any feelings someone might have about someone else, you can take that out the door once the ball's kicked off.
On Maddox prior to being named QB:
I honestly think he gave everyone a lift by coming in and playing well. He did a great job. Tommy's been around awhile. He gets the ball out quick, everybody's on the same page, he knows where he wants to go with the football. All we have to do is get open. We weren't really calling anything different. He was just doing what he does best.
Does he have a lot of confidence in you?
It's one of those things where I'd been getting it in practice the last few weeks and then it was finally starting to come my way in games and you kind of get into a rhythm, a comfort zone. That's when you can sit back and just play football and get into the game. Kordell threw me three easy passes to get me in the rhythm and I was rolling.
Why did you say ‘get your helmets around quick'?
Because he's going to drop back and let the ball go. That's just Tommy. That's why we all call him ‘Tommy Gun.'. If you don't get your head around, he may hit you in the back of the head with the ball. Everybody around here knows that.
Would you be happy if he was named QB?
I'm a player and they're the coaches. They'll make the decisions that will better our football team. I just do what they ask me to do and that's it.
You've got to understand, I've been around this game so long and seen it so many times, you can't get caught up with who's playing quarterback. It's a great honor and a great promotion for Tommy, and I really think, hopefully, it's going to help this team get better, but as players you can‘t get caught up in all that. You've got to do your job.
Kordell brought you here. Does that make it tougher for you?
I am in the middle of this. I know both of them very well. But my comments are hard to make because I wasn't in there a lot. I came here knowing of the reputation of Kordell, but I didn't play a lot and I played with Tommy. Both of them are professionals. I talk to Kordell all the time and he'll be fine. Just fine. But of course it hurts. Anytime you get demoted, it hurts. You want to know how bad it hurts? Ask me. I've been through it so many times with many quarterbacks. When things happen like this, the guy who gets demoted really bounces back and becomes a very good player.
When you have that opportunity to do your thing and it comes up short the way it did, it hurts a little bit but at the same time you've got to keep working, man keep looking forward.
Before the decision was made, before we even came into the season, even when Tommy was here last year, he's a good guy man. He supported me when I was in there and even through the tough times he was still supportive of me. It's my opportunity to give back to him what he's been giving to me because he's been real genuine about it all. It's not a political move. It's not a diplomatic move. It's a genuine true personal concern as opposed to the game itself. The decision that's made is based on what Coach Cowher wants, not based on what he and I want.
Would Cowher come back to you?
I don't know how short that string is and I don't care, to be honest with you. I'm not concerned about that. I just know I need to be prepared man.
What do you like about Tommy's game?
For him to go in and play as well as he did and win the game, that's really what it's all about. To actually have an opportunity to see him play, we'll find out this weekend. But he brings a calmness to the game, relaxed, he's an accurate thrower and at the same time he's a pretty intelligent guy, so with all those facets you hope it all works out so we have an opportunity to win.
After what you did last season, were three games enough to make this call?
It's not up to me on what's enough. After you've gotten accomplished what you've gotten accomplished with this team, you kind of wish you could continue to keep playing and the confidence from everyone around you was still as strong, but obviously, right now, it's not about what what I think or how I feel, it's really about what Coach Cowher wants to do with this football team. We want to win a championship and with this move we hope we can have that opportunity to win a championship.
What about your future here?
It's really not the time to think about what I want to do right now because this is where I am. But at the same time, this is not indicative to what type of quarterback I am. It's just a situation where Coach Cowher felt he had to make a move.
Did he win the job or did you lose it?
Probably a combination of both. Losing to a point where Coach Cowher pretty much said ‘Let's put someone else in' and him grabbing it by going out and seizing the moment at the end of that game. That's what we're going off of, how he performed off of that game, and some other things he's probably done in camp. It's just something we've got to deal with, man. And you know, sitting on the bench, you know, I hope we can get a championship out of this, because sitting on the side and watching it and it don't unfold the way we all anticipated at the beginning of the season - because this is not the time to say this is a change, let's see - no. The mindset is still, ‘We've got to win a championship around here' whether it's myself or Tommy.
The year Kordell had, winning MVP, you'd just like to see him out there. I've been here when times were bad with Kordell and when times were good. I would've liked it to have been Kordell, but like I said, I'm not the coach. I'm not saying Tommy won't get the job done. Tommy's going to come out there and, I call him Gunslinger because he's going to sling it. You'd better get your head around quick because he's not going to be able to run the ball. He's not a running quarterback. As a receiver, it just gives us more chances to go out and make plays.
As far as fast break, the way he worked that two minutes, it was like watching Elway on one of those comeback days. It was fun being a part of that. Tommy did a tremendous job coming into the game and stepping into that situation. He showed a lot of poise.
Tommy, the way he worked that two minutes, he spread everybody. He threw the ball where it was supposed to go. He wasn't trying to force people. He went out there and did what he was supposed to do, consequently we ended up scoring. I think every receiver, on that drive, caught a ball.
Can you open a game with a fast break?
We probably could, but …
We're not the Rams now. We're not going to go out there and say we need to throw the ball 50 times a game. We've still got three quality running backs. That chemistry, I think, that's what led us to having a great year last year because we were balanced. But we just fell behind in the first three games and it forced us into a pass mode. I mean, there's no need to panic and shy away form our run game. We still got to go out there and try to establish the dominance we had because we were No. 1 in the league last year and basically we have the same offense, so there's no need to shy away from the run because it's not clicking right now.
Do you like this move?
Do I like it? I'm not the coach. I'm just a player. It was the coach's decision and you just got to go out there and just play.
Can this divide the locker room?
We've been here before so there's nothing new for us. The big thing is we need to rally behind whoever the quarterback is.--Jim Wexell